We were so inspired by stars like Brock Ciarlelli (The Middle), Jessica Marie Garcia (The Middle, Liv & Maddie), Ricky Garcia (Best Friends Whenever), Sarah Gilman (I Didn’t Do It) and so many more who attended NAPPA’s 4th Annual Celebrity Stuff-A-Thon! The team worked together in an assembly line to pack toys for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles while their child or sibling has an extended stay at a nearby hospital. Just in time for the season of giving, we chatted with the stars about what motivates them to help out. You’ll be inspired in no time, so we’ve included a list of ideas to help you narrow down your charitable niche!
1. Homeless Shelters or Food Banks: Check with your local organizations and sign up to help prepare or distribute meals, organize the pantry or donate non-food items guests are need.
2. Hospitals or Senior Citizens: Volunteer to read to children, visit those without family, or make cards to hand out to patients. Just being a listening ear goes a long way.
3. Libraries: Believe it or not, there are many people, young and old, who do not know how to read. Check to see if your library has a literacy program, or maybe they need help organizing the books!
4. Child Sponsorship Programs: Many children around the world are living without basic needs. Do your research and find a reputable program to get involved with. But don’t forget about local needs too! Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great start.
5. The Red Cross or Salvation Army: Have any extra scarves, socks, coats or toys? They can probably find someone who could use them!
6. Animal Shelters: We can’t forget about our furry friends! Whether it’s walking dogs or cleaning kennels, those cute faces make it worthwhile!
7. Habitat for Humanity: Not only is basic construction experience a valuable life skill, the the knowledge that you helped provide a home for a family in need is an even bigger reward!
8. DoSomething.org: Check their website regularly for the latest campaigns! Plus, there’s typically a chance to win major scholarship money! Get the scoop here.
9. Volunteer Match: Take the quiz, browse charity events in your area, and find out how you can get involved. Doesn’t get much easier! Get started here.
10. Start your own initiative! Can’t find the perfect fit? Don’t be shy… start something on your own. Create a school club, raise money for a cause, DIY your own giving campaign… the options are endless. Take Thanksgiving, for example. Extra turkey? Make sandwiches, write notes of encouragement and pass them out to the homeless!